“The artist vocation is to send light into the human heart.” – Robert Schumann.
Hard to believe a New Year has landed! I hope one and all have had a beautiful year in 2016, and that you…WE…all feel grounded and rooted and certain of our beliefs as we face this new year. This beautiful collection of books are a few of my favorite reads from 2016!
Peter Mathiessen – The Snow Leopard: Mathiessen is an exquisite writer – his language is like moving through beauty itself. This deeply moving reflection on Quest and Loss as he traverses the Himalayas, begs us to consider what we are willing to give up, and at what cost… alongside what we might gain. If you love language as an art form, you must read his work. Beautiful.
Shirin Ebadi – Until We Are Free: A profound look at what it means to dedicate one’s life to advocating for Human rights, personal Freedoms, and the Right to live according to those personal beliefs…even when your own country conspires against you. Shirin Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 – the first Muslim woman to receive this highest honor. Read this. It will change you. It will expand you…and it might just make you get up off your couch to create a better, saner, safer World!
Jennifer Ackerman – The Genius of Birds – is a Wonder for anyone that loves birds! We love their song, we love to watch them flit about through the sky, but their genius? Oh my. This book will bring you a new-found sense of awe and respect for our gorgeous feathered friends of the air.
Rumi – blessings upon him. Years ago I was able to attend the Breadloaf Writers Conference, where I met and was inspired by many beautiful writers. One of them, a young handsome man turned to me one afternoon, on the expansive lawn and asked me this: R U? M I? (Are you? Am I?) to which, he continued: I M, U R (I am, You are.) This was my introduction to Rumi, a poet of sheer brilliance, love, joy, and wonderment. Is always a treat to take this book off the shelf and swim in his sea of profound human beauty.
Joshua, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton – Atlas Obscura – A pure delight! This gorgeous collection of interesting, arcane, expansive, extraordinary, odd-ball tidbits of knowledge and facts is SO wonderful and fascinating that I can say with complete abandon that I love it – and I know you will love it too! There is something for everyone in this one:)
and last but not least…
Ruth Ozeki – A Tale For The Time Being! I gulped this novel down within a matter of days – loathe to separate from it. Ruth Ozeki created a remarkable, beautiful, haunting and elliptical world that swims through the great sea of humanity…as well as the sea itself. Her novel moves us to engage with memory, loss, love, family, war, and the necessary process of letting go – while simultaneously finding our own way to endure. This beautiful novel is a meditation on living, on love, on seating oneself in the moment, and acceptance: acceptance of letting go – even when we are not ready to do so.
Thank you Ruth Ozeki! You expanded my heart, my being, and my humanity.
Here we are – 2017…a year that ushers in a particular and uncertain time of change. There is a great deal of discomfort inside the hearts, spirits, and minds of many, all across the nation…and rightfully so. We are off the grid; we have entered a territory for which there is no compass, no guide rails for us to study.
How did this happen?
I have no answer for that..I did NOT vote for him.
But I DO know this: More than ever before
ART will be, MUST be
our guiding compass. Resistance through Art. More than ever before.
Perhaps our country, our world, will fare well over the next four years…perhaps…I certainly hope so…but no matter what, it WILL BE, MUST BE time for ALL of us to step outside our comfort zones and make noise. Make resistance…and one of the strongest ways to be heard will be through ART. No matter what, Art will profoundly and absolutely, be necessary!
Art is the light shining into the dark spaces. Art is where Truth is given center stage… no matter how askance one must peek from the corner of their eye. Year 2017 can be the year that changes us from weak, to bold…the year that ushers in a new Era of Sound, a new Era of Fight, a new Era of Resistance, Unity, and Creation. 2017 may insert the very real necessity for artists and the socially conscious individuals around our country, around our world, to fight for what we believe in…to step outside comfort zones, to raise a voice, to be counted, to be heard. I know that I will be relying, deeply, on the voices of Artists around the world…and I know I will not be alone.
Resist. Resist. Resist.
Create. Create. Create.
Remind the world that we, the larger segment of our nation, did NOT vote for Trump…and that we are here, we are united, and we will not step down to whatever lies ahead.